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Recommended by Mr. Brandenburg - page 19 / 30





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How The Other Half Thinks; Adventures in Mathematical Reasoning. By Sherman Stein. (McGraw-Hill, 177 pp, 2001) Teen-Adult. "Occasionally, in some difficult musical compositions there are beautiful, but easy, parts - so simple a beginner could play them. So it is with mathematics as well. There are some discoveries in advanced mathematics that do not depend on specialized knowledge, not even on algebra, geometry, or trigonometry. Instead, they may involve, at most, a little arithmetic, such as 'the sum of two odd numbers is even,' and common sense. As I wrote, I kept in mind two types of readers: those who enjoyed until they were turned off by an unpleasant episode, usually around fifth grade; and mathematics aficionados, who will find much that is new throughout the book."


Infinity and the Mind. By Rudy Rucker  (Princeton, 342 pp, 1995) HS- Adult. "…this jazzy book … is an excellent introduction to all aspects of the infinite. Rucker does a good job balancing accessibility and sophistication - though the book covers some very sophisticated math, even a high-school student should be able to comprehend most of it. It's a good deal at roughly $13 and, moreover, widely available - Borders, Barnes and Noble, etc usually have a copy in their math section. Run out and buy a copy - your horizons will be infinitely expanded! also contains one of the best expositions of Godel's incompleteness theorem."


The Joy of Mathematics. By Theoni Pappas. (World Wide, 237 pp, 1989) Ages 9-14. "Part of the joy of mathematics is that it is everywhere: in soap bubbles, electricity, da Vinci's masterpieces, even in an ocean wave. Written by the well-known mathematics teacher consultant, this two volume collection of over 500 clearly illustrated mathematical ideas, concepts, puzzles, and games shows where they turn up in the 'real' world. You'll find out what a googol is, visit hotel infinity, read a thorny logic problem that was stumping them back in the 8th century."


Life by the Numbers. By Keith Devlin. (Wiley, 224 pp, 1999) GFBR. *** HS-adult. "Most of us think mathematics is about numbers and counting. That's just the basics, though, and Keith Devlin's companion book to the PBS series "Life by the Numbers" gives examples of the versatility of math as a tool for understanding just about everything. Devlin loves math--he calls it 'one of the greatest creations of mankind' in a chapter entitled 'It's an M World'--and he wants everyone to love it."


The Mathematical Experience. By Philip J. Davis and Reuben Hersh. (Houghton-Mifflin, 411 pp, 1998) HS-Adult. "A brilliant and engrossing view of the development of mathematics...wonderful at communicating its beauty and excitement to the general reader." “This is the classic introduction for the educated lay reader to the richly diverse world of mathematics: its history, philosophy, principles, and personalities. Winner of an American Book Award.”


Mathematical Mountaintops; The Five Most Famous Problems of All Time. By John L. Casti. (Oxford, 196 pp, 2001) HS – Adult. "The recent boom in mathematics bestsellers has contributed a great deal towards raising the public profile of the subject. But such books ignore a significant section of potential readers, namely those who have more of a mathematical background that the general reader but who are not professional mathematicians. Such mathematical enthusiasts have no doubt enjoyed some of the popular books, but would really prefer a more technical treatment. This is exactly what John Casti provides in Mathematical Mountaintops. It is nether a textbook nor a pop math book, rather it is a serious in-depth look at the great problems of mathematics."


The Mathematical Tourist: Snapshots of Modern Mathematics.By Ivars Peterson. (Freeman, 240 pp, 1988; newer versions are available.) GFBR****. HS – Adult. "The only popular book on mathematics that covers many of the really new developments in the field. Ivars is accurate yet accessible, a delicate combination in this subject, particularly."

Science and Math Books You Can Read – page 19 out of 30

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